In a ceremony at Port of Palm Beach last week, representatives from U.S. Customs and Border Protection honored a local cruise line for their “quick and innovative action” in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, which struck the Bahamas last fall. CBP Director of Field Operations Diane Sabatino presented Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, with a certificate recognizing the cruise line’s efforts, during the ceremony.
The Aftermath of Hurricane Dorian
While many of us stood in front of our televisions observing the damage to the Bahamas, the team at Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line sprang into action. The cruise line was the first to dock in Freeport following the storm and they brought with them more than 700,000 pounds of humanitarian aid as well as plenty of staterooms to be used to evacuate those who had lost everything in the storm.
Nearly 600 qualified volunteers, ship personnel, and local South Florida organizations, including Entrepreneurs’ Organization of South Florida, Mission Resolve, Bahamas Relief Cruise and The Everglades Trust, also went to work by preparing boxed lunches and delivering them to local shelters, distributing thousands of supplies, including water, food, personal hygiene products, medical equipment, generators, and dog food, and personally delivering 100 Bahamian bins that were donated from concerned family members in South Florida.
“Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s innovative actions to quickly deliver relief to Grand Bahama Island residents is truly commendable and working alongside their team during the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian is an experience we’ll never forget,” said Sabatino. “We hope that this certificate serves as a token of our gratitude for their efforts.”
In an effort designed to further boost the Bahamas’ economy, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line also added Nassau as a second destination option for guests following the storm – introducing its unique Cruise & Stay Program there and giving travelers two ways to getaway. Cruisers can now extend their stay on Nassau at one of several partner resorts, including Atlantis, Meliá Nassau Beach Resort, and SLS Baha Mar while experiencing personal encounters with marine life, private cabanas, premier nightlife, and luxury dining options.
“We are grateful to the CBP for this amazing recognition of our efforts on Grand Bahama Island, our second home. Our onboard volunteers and ship personnel came together and showcased the true American spirit of friendship and selflessness, and we couldn’t have done it without their support,” said Khosa. “We look forward to continuing the work in 2020!”